Paul Shackel
Professor & Department Chair
1111-C Woods Hall
Department of Anthropology
(301) 405-1425



Dr. Paul Shackel joined the Department of Anthropology in 1996 after working for the National Park Service for 7-½ years. He received his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1987.

His extensive work at Harpers Ferry delves into issues of class and labor in this early industrial town. He received a 3-year NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates award that allowed him to partner with other institutions to train undergraduates in archaeology and explore issues of race, class and ethnicity on the Illinois western frontier. The work focused on the historic town of New Philadelphia, Illinois. The development of civic engagement activities became an important part of this archaeological program.

He is now working with graduate and undergraduate students on a project that includes oral histories, documentary research, and archaeology in the anthracitre region of Pennsylvania. The project initially focused on the 1897 Lattimer Massacre. Now the research program, known as the Athracite Heritage Program, is exploring issues related to immigration in the past as well as the present in the coal patch towns surrounding Hazleton, PA. The project has worked in Lattimer, Pardeesville, and most recently Eckley Miners' Village, focusing on the the households of mining families.

Dr. Shackel serves as the PI on cooperative agreements with the National Park Service. These projects provide work and educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Shackel is interested in what nationally significant sites mean to the American public, and how they help to create and maintain a national identity. Archaeology plays a role in revealing controversial issues of our country’s development, such as labor, racism, and enslavement.


Selected Bibliography for Paul Shackel in Chronological Order

Selected Books:

Shackel, Paul A.

1996   Culture Change and the New Technology: An Archaeology of the Early American Industrial Era. Plenum Publishing Corp, New York, NY.

Shackel, Paul A.

2003   Memory in Black and White: Race, Commemoration, and the Post–Bellum Landscape. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek, CA. 

Moyer, Teresa and Shackel, Paul A.

2008    The Making of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park: A Devil, Two Rivers, and a Dream. AltaMira Press, Lanham, MD.

Shackel, Paul A.

2009    An Archaeology of American Labor and Working Class Life.  University of Florida Press, Gainesville, FL.

Shackel, Paul A.

2011    New Philadelphia: An Archaeology of Race in the Heartland. University of California Press, Berkeley.

Little, Barbara J. and Paul A. Shackel

2014    Archaeology, Heritage and Civic Engagement: Working Toward the Public Good. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, CA.

Selected Books edited:

Little, Barbara J. and Paul A. Shackel

1994    Historical Archaeology of the Chesapeake. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC.

Shackel, Paul A., Paul R. Mullins and Mark S. Warmer

1998    Annapolis Pasts: Contributions from Archaeology in Annapolis, (with Paul Mullins and Mark S. Warner). The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.

Shackel, Paul A.

2001    Myth, Memory and the Making of the American Landscape. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

Shackel, Paul A. and Erve Chambers

2004    Places in Mind: Archaeology as Applied Anthropology. Routledge Press, NY.

Little, Barbara J. and Paul A. Shackel

2007    Archaeology as a Tool of Civic Engagement. AltaMira Press, Lanham, MD. 

Laurajane Smith, Paul A. Shackel and Gary Campbell

2011    Heritage, Labour and the Working Classes. Routledge Press, NY.

Selected Journal Volumes Edited

Little, Barbara J and Paul A. Shackel

1992    Meanings and Uses of Material Culture (with Barbara J. Little). Historical Archaeology 26(3).

Fennel, Christopher, Terrance Martin and Paul A. Shackel

2010  New Philadelphia: Racism, Community, and the Illinois Frontier (with) Historical Archaeology 44(1).

hackel, Paul A. and David Gadsby

2011    Archaeologies of Engagement, Representation, and Identity.Historical Archaeology, 45(1).

Shackel, Paul A. and Michael Roller

2013    Reversing the Narrative: Archaeologies that Challenge, Diversify, and Expand History for the Present. Historical Archaeology, 47(3).

Selected Articles

Leone, Mark P., Parker B. Potter, Jr., and Paul A. Shackel

1987  Toward a Critical Archaeology. Current Anthropology 28(3): 283–301.

Little, Barbara J. and Paul A. Shackel

1989  Scales of Historical Anthropology: An Archaeology of Colonial A Anglo–America. Antiquity (62)240: 495–509.

Leone, Mark P. and Paul A. Shackel

1990  Plane and Solid Geometry in Colonial Gardens in Annapolis, Maryland. In Earth Patterns: Essays in Landscape Archaeology, edited by William  Kelso, and Rachel Most, pp. 153–167. The University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville, VA.

Shackel, Paul A.

1994  Town Planning, and Everyday Material Culture: An Archaeology of Social Relations in Colonial Maryland's Capital Cities. In Historical Archaeology of the Chesapeake, edited by Paul A. Shackel and Barbara J. Little, pp. 85–96. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC.

Shackel, Paul A.

1994   Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Meanings and Uses of Material Goods in Lower Town, Harpers Ferry. Historical Archaeology 28(4): 3–15.

Shackel, Paul A.

1994  Memorializing Landscapes and the Civil War in Harpers Ferry. In Look to the Earth:  an Archaeology of the Civil War, edited by Clarence Geier and Susan Winter, pp. 256–270. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.

Shackel, Paul A.

1995  Terrible Saint: Changing Meanings of the John Brown Fort. Historical Archaeology 29(4): 11–25.

Martin, Erika, Mia Parsons, and Paul Shackel

1997  Commemorating a Rural African–American Family at a National Battlefield Park. International Journal of Historical Archaeology 1(2): 155–175.

Shackel, Paul A.

1998    Maintenance Relationships in Early Colonial Annapolis. In Annapolis Pasts: Contributions From Archaeology in Annapolis, edited by Paul A. Shackel, Paul Mullins and Mark S. Warner, pp. 97–118. The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville,TN.

Shackel, Paul A.

2000  Craft to Wage Labor: Agency and Resistance in American Historical Archaeology. In Agency Theory in Archaeology, edited by John Robb and Marcia–Anne Dobres, pp. 232–246. Routledge Press, London.

Shackel, Paul A.

2001   Public Memory and the Search for Power in American Historical Archaeology. American Anthropologist 102(3): 655–670.

Shackel, Paul A.

2002  Broadening the Interpretations of the Past at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. In The Public Benefits of Archaeology, edited by Barbara J. Little, pp 157–166. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

Shackel, Paul A.

2003   Heyward Shepherd: The Faithful Slave Memorial. In Remembering Landscapes of Conflict, edited by Paul A. Shackel. Historical Archaeology 37(3): 138–148.

Shackel, Paul A.

2004 Labor’s Heritage: Remembering the American Industrial Landscape. Historical Archaeology 38(4): 43–57.

Shackel, Paul A. and Matthew M. Palus

2006  The Gilded Age: An Archaeology of Working Class Communities. American Anthropologist 108(4):828-841.

Shackel, Paul A. and Matthew M. Palus

2006  Remembering an Industrial landscape. International Journal of Historical Archaeology 10(1):49-71.

Shackel, Paul A.

2010   Identity and Collective Action in a Multi-Racial Community. In New Philadelphia: Racism, Community, and the Illinois Frontier, edited by Christopher Fennel and Terrance Martin and Paul A. Shackel. Historical Archaeology, 44(1): 58-71.

Shackel, Paul A.

2011 A Snapshot of Tourism in GreenlandInternational Journal of Heritage Studies 17(1):81-88.

Shackel, Paul A.

2011 America’s Home Town: Fiction, Mark Twain, and the Recreation of Hannibal, Missouri. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 45(3):197-213. 

Shackel, Paul A.

2012   The Gilded Age Wasn’t So Gilded in the Anthracite Region of Pennsylvania. International Journal of Historical Archaeology 16(4):761-775.

Shackel, Paul A.

2013.  An Historical Archaeology of Labor and Social Justice. American Anthropologist 115(2):  317-320.


Areas of Interest:
  • Historical archaeology, labor history, public history, civic engagement
Personal Website: